WILLIAM HAYES ACKLAND
In 1937, art works that had been scat- 5
8 tered in several campus buildings were
brought to Person Hall to form a real
gallery. Katherine Pendleton Arrington,
president of the N.C. Art Society in 1936,
was instrumental in this effort, with an
$11,000 gift. The Works Progress
Administration added $10,000.
In 1940, Carolina attracted John
Volney Alcott from Hunter College to
run the new art departtnent. Alcott was
quite enthused with prospects of what ~
could be done with Ackland's money, and ~o
he would be one of Carolina's strongest
ambassadors when it came time to
persuade the courts to interpret Ackland's
will in the University's favor.
Duke, too, was thinking about art.
Duke wins him over
' 3 :;;
"I am the owner ofsome valuable ~
paintings and pieces of statuary and I have !l!
thought of building and endowing a
gallery in connection with some Southern
college or university. Before making my
will I should like to know whether such a
gift will be acceptable to [TJhe University
of North Carolina and under what condi-
tions the gift would be received, the style
of architecture and the site (which [
would expect the university to furnish)."
This is part of the letter Carolina
Duke was his first choice. He was
known to have considered Duke the Harvard of the South, and there was specula-
tion he might have regretted having been
talked out ofattending Harvard by his
fanUly. Carolina was second, and Rollins,
with whose president Ackland was a
good friend, third.
Ackland's will, written in 1936, said a
little something more: He couldn't take
the money with him, but the money had
to take him with it. Any museum he
funded would include a sarcophagus
complete with recumbent statue - the
donor's final resting place.
At first, this requirement didn't bother
Duke. Three members of that university's
founding fanUly already were resting,
above ground, in a memorial chapel
S e p t e 11/ be r / 0 c t 0 be r 2 0 0 1